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July 11, 2009

Michael Jackson - US Patent #5255452: Method and means for creating anti-gravity illusio [ahh, the definition of a blogpost]



Application No. 905479
filed on 06/29/1992


Last patent issue date: 10/26/1993


5255452
Method and means for creating anti-gravity illusion
A system for allowing a shoe wearer to lean forwardly beyond his center of gravity by virtue of wearing a specially designed pair of shoes which will engage with a hitch member movably projectable through a stage surface.
The shoes have a specially design...


Inventor:
Michael L. Bush

Address: Hollywood, CA No. of patents: 1
Inventor:
Dennis Tompkins

Address: Hollywood, CA No. of patents: 1 Last patent issue date: 10/26/1993


Inventor:

Michael J. Jackson
Address: Los Angeles, CA No. of patents: 1 Last patent issue date: 10/26/1993




Assignee:

Triumph International, Inc.


Location: LosAngeles, CA No. of patents: 1

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BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a method and means for creating an anti-gravity illusion effects for entertainment purposes.

This invention relates more particularly to the creation of such illusion by means of specialized footwear and accessories therefor. The specialized footwear is provided with means for engagement with a movably protrudable hitch or post which allows the entertainer to lean forward on a stage at a very acute angle relative to the stage floor to achieve the illusion of defying gravity.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Music entertainers and dancers are constantly searching for new and interesting elements which can be incorporated into their musical and dance performances. Interesting stage design, lighting, fog generators, laser light shows, and large video screens all enhance the appealability of live and recorded performances. Many popular music and dance entertainers expend great efforts in enhancing and choreographing their performances and dancing.

In the past, a professional entertainer, one of the inventors herein, has incorporated dance steps in his recorded video performances, wherein he and other dancers would lean forward beyond their center of gravity, thereby creating an impressive visual effect. This effect was accomplished by the use of cables connecting a harness around the dancer's waist with hooks on a stage, thereby allowing the dancer to lean forward at the required degree. However, since this requires stagehands to connect and then disconnect the cables, it has not been possible to use this system in live performances. Moreover, the cables obviously restricted arm and body movements.

There is disclosed in the prior art footwear which allow the wearer to engage his or her shoes with a stationary object. U.S. Pat. No. 5,042,173 to Blizzard, et al. discloses footwear which can be worn by astronauts and which can be detachably engaged with a rail fixed to a surface to aid astronauts in working in a zero gravity environment. U.S. Pat. No. 1,165,812 to Staubly discloses a rubber overshoe which has a hook on its sole which can be engaged with a plate fixed to a surface to assist in removing the overshoe without having to bending down and touching the overshoes.

However, to the best of our knowledge and belief the prior art does not disclose or suggest the specialized footwear permitting an entertainer to freely move about a stage, while at the same time, enabling engagement with a movable hitch or post, projectable through the stage floor, to enable the illusion to be performed.



SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION


The present invention overcomes the above noted deficiencies of the previously employed cable system by providing specialized footwear and a moveable hitch or post to which the specialized footwear can be detachably engaged to allow the footwear wearer to lean forward on the stage, with his or her center of gravity well beyond the front of the shoes, thereby creating the desired visual effect.

The invention provides a new design for shoes which will allow his or her performing artist, by engaging the shoes onto an upstanding post positioned to project upwardly from a stage at a predetermined time, to lean forwardly to put his or her center of gravity beyond the front or rear of his shoes, thereby creating the desired gravity defying interesting visual effect.


The invention provides a system for engaging footwear with a hitch or post means, comprising:

shoes having a first engagement means; and

a second engagement means being movably protrudable through a stable surface (usually a stage platform) between a first stable protruding position raised above the stable surface and a second retracted position lowered below, or flush with, the stable surface. The first engagement means is engageable with the said second engagement means when said second engagement means is in the first stable protruding position. The second retracted position is preferably flush with the stable surface so as not to impede the performer in any way in his movements and dance before and after the hitch or post is exposed in the first protruding position.





Abstract
A system for allowing a shoe wearer to lean forwardly beyond his center of gravity by virtue of wearing a specially designed pair of shoes which will engage with a hitch member movably projectable through a stage surface.
The shoes have a specially designed heel slot which can be detachably engaged with the hitch member by simply sliding the shoe wearer's foot forward, thereby engaging with the hitch member. Claims


I claim:

1. A system for engaging shoes with a hitch mans to permit a person standing on a stage surface to lean forwardly beyond his or her center of gravity, comprising: at least one shoe having a heel with a first engagement means, said first engagement means comprising a recess formed in a heel of said shoe covered with a heel slot plane located at a bottom region of said heel, said heel slot plate having a slot formed therein with a relatively wide opening at a leading edge of said heel and a narrower terminal end rearward of said leading edge, said recess being larger in size above said terminal end of said slot than is said terminal end of said slot; and
a second engagement means, detachably engageable with said first engagement means, comprising a hitch member having an enlarged head portion connected by a narrower shank portion to a means for raising and lowering said head of said hitch member above and substantially level with or below said stage surface, said head portion being larger in size than said terminal end of said slot and said shank portion being narrower than said terminal end of said slot, wherein said hitch member can be moved through apertures in said stage surface between a projecting position raised above said stage surface and a retracted position at or below the stage surface, and when said head portion of said hitch member is raised above said stage surface, said first engagement means can be detachably engaged with said projecting hitch member, thereby allowing a person wearing the shoes to lean forwardly with his or her normal center of gravity beyond a front region of said shoes, and maintain said forward lean.
2. The system of claim 1, wherein said slot in said heel slot plate is V-shaped, with the mouth of the V at the leading edge of said heel.
3. The system of 1, wherein said shoe has strapping means to secure the shoe to the wearer's feet.
4. The system of claim 1, wherein said shoe has lace means to secure the shoe to the wearer's feet.
5. The system of claim 1, wherein said shoe has extension means overlying the wearer's ankle, and is provided with covering means to conceal the said extension means of said shoe.
6. The system of claim 5, wherein said covering means comprises a sock-like covering.
7. A system for engaging shoes with a hitch means to permit a person standing on a stage surface to lean forwardly beyond his or her center of gravity in a stable manner, comprising:
at least one shoe having a heel with a first engagement means, said first engagement means comprising a recess formed in a heel of said shoe, said recess having a relatively wide opening at a leading edge of said heel and a narrower terminal end rearward of said leading edge; and
a second engagement means, detachably engagable with said first engagement means, comprising a hitch member having an enlarged head portion, connected to a means for raising and lowering said hitch member above and substantially level with or below said stage surface, wherein said hitch member can be moved through apertures in said stage surface between a projecting position raised above said stage surface and a retracted position at or below the stage surface, and when said hitch member is raised above said stage surface, said first engagement means is detachably engagable with said projecting hitch member, thereby allowing a person wearing the shoes to lean forwardly with his or her normal center of gravity beyond a front region or said shoes, and maintain said forward lean. 8. The system of claim 7, wherein said recess is covered with a heel slot plate located at a bottom region of said heel, said heel slot plate having a slot formed therein. 9. The system of claim 8, wherein said slot in said heel slot plate is V-shaped, with the mouth of the V at the leading edge of said heel. 10. The system of claim 7, wherein said shoe has strapping means to secure the shoe to the wearer's feet. 11. The system of claim 7, wherein said shoe has lace means to secure the shoe to the wearer's feet. 12. The system of claim 7, wherein said shoe has extension means overlying the wearer's ankle, and is provided with covering means to conceal the said extension means of said shoe. 13. The system of claim 12, wherein said covering means comprises a sock-like covering. Description


BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to a method and means for creating an anti-gravity illusion effects for entertainment purposes.
This invention relates more particularly to the creation of such illusion by means of specialized footwear and accessories therefor. The specialized footwear is provided with means for engagement with a movably protrudable hitch or post which allows the entertainer to lean forward on a stage at a very acute angle relative to the stage floor to achieve the illusion of defying gravity.




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